5 stretches to do before bed. Part of having a good night’s rest is being able to relax your mind and body before shutting the lights. The way I see it, is that having a short stretching routine in the evening is beneficial for several reasons. By focusing on yourself and your body for a few minutes, you are shifting away from the day’s stress and this will help shut out the noise that keeps you tossing and turning all night. Also, if you exercise on a regular basis and especially in the afternoons or evenings then chances are that your muscles are tight (yes, even if you are naturally flexible). If you’ve ever woken up at night with a leg cramp then you know how painful it can be. A gentle pre-bed stretch will help keep the pain at bay.
5 STRETCHES TO DO BEFORE BED
Swan or pigeon. This a great relaxing pose to do as you are winding down your day because it targets the whole body: legs, hips, back and neck. Sitting on the floor, bend your right leg so that your foot is touching your left thigh or is in a parallel position in front of you. Slowly hinge your body forward and if you can, reach your arms out on the floor in front of you. Hold for about 15-20 seconds and switch legs.
Side bend. Depending on your hip flexibility, do this stretch sitting on the side of your bed or on a pillow. Reach your right arm overhead, take a deep breath and bend your body sideways. Aim for a nice deep stretch while keeping your pelvis still. Hold for about 15-20 seconds and switch sides.
Bridge. Lying on your back, bend your knees so that your feet are on the floor, hip distance apart, toes pointing forward. Take a deep breath and gently lift your hips toward the ceiling, keeping your body in a straight line. Hold for about 15-20 seconds and repeat.
Happy baby. The name of this stretch alone makes me smile, but it’s also great for your back and a hip opener for those of you who spend a lot of time sitting at your desks. Lying on your back, lift your legs up to the ceiling and bend your knees lowering them toward your armpits while grasping the insides of your feet. Hold for at least 15 seconds, but feel free to keep the pose longer if it feels good.
Spine twist. Lying on your back, arms out to your sides bend your knees and let them fall to one side. Breathe deeply and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat.
These are all stretches that I enjoy and that I picked because you can do them without a major warm up and they target different parts of the body. Of course, if you have your favourite stretches that you already love, by all means keep doing them. In the end, it’s all about driving more oxygen to your muscles so they can release and you can have a good night’s rest.
Do you stretch before going to bed?